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TAGnotes Sun 11 Nov 2001 Vol 3 Number 111 Issue 372

The Auction Guild Notes for Sun 11 Nov 2001
Detailed disaster contact information, disaster relief information and
links for contributions to the United Way, Salvation Army etc. on the
TAG website at
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Velour shirts are in! Silver or Copper - holiday perfect!
Visit my auctions at http://auctions.yahoo.com/booth/ddeva_48045
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction
sellers of the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$Buck98 Holiday Extravaganza going on NOW. Next $Buck98 event starts 13
Nov. $1.98 No Reserve Auctions http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98/
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
http://www.ddeva.com -- ddeva.com: style & where to find it
You can combine shipping with your auction wins! Just ask.
      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Support the people who support TAGnotes. Click on their links, bid on
their auctions and buy their products. You too can participate in a Win
Win solution. Support TAG and promote your website or auctions. Seller
group ads also available. Subscribers Ads $5.00 - Commercial rates
available, email ta-@theauctionguild.com for details.
      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The TAG email system is still broken, and we have not heard from our
service provider when it will be back in service. If you need to reach
us, and email to ta-@theauctioguild.com bounces, please try our
temporary email address at tagc-@usadatanet.net.
The TAGnotes archive is available in a searchable format at     
Interested in more information about TAG? Go to our website at
http://www.auctionguild.com You can find contact info for several sites
and services there, along with editorials and other information.
With thanks for all those soldiers who have given their lives and all
those soldiers who put themselves in harms way to preserve our freedom
and our constitution. A safe Veterans Day.
On 7 Nov at 09:08:52 PT users reported that Billpoint was not working
with A4A auctions. There were continuing complaints about sign
in/cookies, list, relist and revise, and a panoply of Checkout

On 8 Nov at 17:35 PT a seller reported on the threaded boards, that
while trying to access the payment status info page, they were
redirected to the ebaY Payments Order Details page. This page had
blocks for the buyers bank information, which were blank, and the social
security number of the buyer, which was showing. There was no response
from any ebaY rep and no action was taken by ebaY to fix this breach.
Problems continued with sign in/cookies, list, relist and revise, and a
range of Checkout complaints.

On 9 Nov at 07:27:58 PT a user reported receiving 640 emailed ebaY
welcome messages. Some users had reported the same problem of receiving
multiple emails from ebaY, a couple of weeks earlier.   At 07:43:06 PT
ebaY picture services full featured service was down from 07:15 PT to
07:30 PT. At 08:29:44 PT relist on cgi5 went down throwing page cannot
be displayed messages, when the continue button was clicked on. It was
back up at 08:50:38 PT. At 09:11:49 PT sellers reported they were
receiving payment overdue notices, stating the sellers account was past
due for non-payment, and if not paid in full, bidding and listing
privileges would be restricted.   This despite the fact that the
accounts were set up for automatic payment via credit card. ebaY CS
reps posted on the ebaY boards stating they were aware of the problem
and were investigating. At 10:14:59 PT users reported that ebaY pic
services were once again not working. At 10:46:16 PT. ebaY posted that
sellers using ebaY pic services were having problems uploading pictures
to ebaY. ebaY claimed the problems lasted from 9:45 PT to 9:52 PT. At
14:40:28 PT ebaY posted that pic services were again down. Sellers were
having problems uploading pictures with both basic and enhanced ebaY pic
services.   At 16:39PT on 9 Nov an ebaY rep posted in the thread about
the security breach in Checkout. Gwyneth@ebaY said that ebaY took the
system involved offline while they investigated the problem. ebaY
thought the incident was isolated. At 19:22 PT the social security
number was no longer posted, but the sellers could still access the
page. The seller who originally reported the problem said that their
efforts via the threaded boards and the Customer Support form on ebaY
were ignored, and that it was not until they called ebaY that something
was done about the problem. ebaY's contact information, including phone
numbers, can be found on the TAG website at
TAG is not sure why ebaY would have anyone's Social Security Number in
the first place, as it is not supplied to ebaY in registration, and ebaY
has no requirement for it since they are not their users employer and do
not pay their users wages. This becomes more problematical since ebaY
shares information with their partners, and begs the question if this
sensitive information is also shared. At 15:27:39 PT, because of the
security problem, ebaY posted that the ability to use Billpoint with
Checkout was down. At 16:15:09 PT ebaY announced the live auction
scheduled for 15:30 PT had been postponed due to technical difficulties.
At 17:07:57 PT ebaY posted that the ability to use Checkout with
Billpoint was down from 15:21 PT to 16:55 PS. At 17:17:02 PT ebaY
announced the pic services problems had been once again fixed.   At
18:49:19 PT ebaY cancelled the live auction scheduled for 15:30 PT.
Problems continued with sign in/cookies, list, relist and revise, and a
range of Checkout complaints.

On 10 Nov at 15:46:21 PT sellers once again reported they were receiving
payment overdue notices, stating the sellers account was past due for
non-payment, and if not paid in full, bidding and listing privileges
would be restricted.   This despite the fact that the accounts were set
up for automatic payment via credit card. ebaY CS reps again posted on
the ebaY boards stating they were aware of the problem and were
investigating. Problems continued with sign in/cookies, list, relist and
revise, and a range of Checkout complaints. Several buyers posted on
the boards stating they were having great difficulties using Checkout
corroborating the thousands of sellers who have posted their refusal to
use Checkout and desire for it to be optional. Problems continued with
sign in/cookies, list, relist and revise, and a range of Checkout

TO REQUEST REFUNDS from ebaY go to
Don’t take no for an answer; keep requesting until you get them.

ebaY sent an email on 9 Nov in which they stated that in addition to no
monthly fee, ebaY was also going to refund the 5 cent listing fees on
stores. Sellers who have or open stores can list for free until 31 Dec
01, so stores will remain completely free until then.

Despite ebaY's claim that it could not legally let sellers use payment
systems other than Billpoint for Auction of America, ebaY is now listing
A4A auctions that do NOT use Billpoint. ebaY owned Returnbuy who is
selling items on behalf of several corporations, is NOT using Billpoint.
For example see

ebaY is banning the sale of any document that contains the Social
Security number of any living person. The sale of items containing
Social Security card numbers for deceased individuals is permitted. Some
of the commonly sold items containing this type of information include
genealogy-related software and antique Social Security cards. If selling
an antique Social Security card, you must include in the listing
language that states that the Social Security numbers do not belong to
any living person.

ebaY has also banned the sale of license plates newer than 10 years
old. Sellers can list collectible plates 10 years or older, that are
expired or no longer valid.

ebaY bans the sale of items that can be used to descramble or facilitate
the access to cable or satellite television programming without
authorization or payment. Stating the item is for educational or test
purposes will not legitimize a product that is otherwise inappropriate.
ebaY also bans information on "how to" unscramble or gain access to
cable or satellite television programming without authorization or
payment. To read ebaY's policy on satellite and cable TV unscramblers go

ebaY is holding a workshop on The Art of Book Selling - Part 1 on Mon 12
Nov from 15:00 PT to 19:00 PT. ebaY member wabbitt15 is the subject
matter expert. ebaY will host Part 2 on Fri 16 Nov from 15:00 PT to
19:00 PT with subject matter expert madorman on the subject of selling
books on Half.com.


Pink Quote of the Day When asked about the information in TAGnotes that
ebaY was limiting the number of emails users could send through the ebaY
email system Jerry@ebaY said, at 8:53 PT on 8 Nov, "The information
provided by tagnotes is false.", then at 10:56 PT that, " In the first
post, an unsupported claim was made by an outside source that has
traditionally been very critical of eBay." and "If the claim appears at
first glance to be outlandish, it probably is." and finally at 12:50 PT,
" I've just been informed by a colleague of mine that changes have been
made recently to the "Contact an eBay Member" form." Once again ebaY
has changed policy without the requisite 30 day notice. Once again
ebaY's double secret policy changes makes them look foolish. Once again
ebaY employees are sent out without sufficient knowledge as to what is
going on at their own company. TAG emailed Jerry and suggested he
subscribe to TAGnotes, as so many of his colleagues do, so that he could
be better informed as to what is going on at ebaY.

TAG has drawn some criticism because the information we reported did not
match the details of what ebaY finally came up with. Go to -"ebaY
Limits Email BAD News", on the TAG website for the background detail of
what we found and when we found it, that led to us reporting what we
did.    http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=72
ebaY threads on subject -

ebaY posted on 8 Nov, three days after TAG found and posted about the
change on 5 Nov, that Users with a positive feedback rating may
currently send up to 100 "Contact an ebaY Member" messages per day.
Users with zero or negative feedback ratings may send up to five
"Contact an ebaY Member" messages per day. These limits only apply to
"Contact an ebaY Member" and do not apply to Ask Seller a Question or to
transactional communication between buyers and sellers. But TAG found
if a zero feedback User ID sends more than 5 questions to sellers, it
uses up their ability to email anyone through the "Contact a Member"
system.   So after 5 emails through the ask a seller a question link,
the user can't then go and email another user on one of the boards. Read
the editorial on the TAG website for the reasons we think this
limitation is bad. In addition, ebaY is not currently controlling this
email cutoff through IP or cookies, unless it is a hidden cookie, but it
appears it is currently being controlled through User ID.

Need more reasons NOT to use ebaY's Billpoint? Not happy with Half.Com?
You are not alone - read the Better Business Bureau UNSATISFACTORY
reports on both services.
Billpoint BBB http://www.bbbsilicon.org/index.htm
ebaY Half.Com

Banned on ebaY - Intimidation and Censorship keeps increasing
Many users posting critically on the ebaY boards about Checkout are
having their auctions singled out by ebaY for careful scrutiny for any
infractions. Sellers with even the most minor violations, are having
their auctions ended, and some sellers are being suspended. TAG has had
no response from ebaY about its suspension from posting on the ebaY
boards. It appears to be an attempt to silence TAG's leadership in the
Checkout issue. http://forums.ebay.com/dws?50@247.CnhFcCiGx9f^-@.eee0a57

Gleaned from the boards is a contact problem with Checkout. When trying
to reach your buyer there might be a problem with using the buyers email
link from the checkout portion of the closed auction. TAG has heard that
emails sent through the link on the Checkout never get to the buyer. TAG
recommends you send the buyer email directly using the normal email
address in the closed auction rather than by clicking on a link in
Checkout or through ebaY's email system.

Unhappy with Checkout? Show your buyers you will have no part of it.
TAG has some logos for your auctions - Go to Gifs you can use on the TAG
site at
TAG also recommends that if you are not going to fill in the Checkout
details, you put the words NO CHECKOUT in your item description in
addition to all the other things you are doing to get your buyers to not
use Checkout. The mainstream media goes by numbers, and if they could
search ebaY and see that millions of auctions have NO CHECKOUT in them
instead of the current approx 100,000, it will get much more play in the
press. The only way to influence ebaY is through outside pressure, and
the press is a valuable source of that pressure. Also add you voice to
that of thousands of other ebaY sellers -   
In addition, you can use HTML in the location box and post in bold red
letter that you do not use checkout. Using the location box makes your
non-acceptance of Checkout visible to the buyer at the end of the
auction on a page otherwise dominated by ebaY's mandatory Checkout
button. You can also get the word out to a wider audience of users by
posting a message that you don't use checkout in a gif that you place in
the Gallery section of the auction. This will show up in all gallery
spots, gaining much wider viewing by the 6 or so million active auction
users on ebaY. At 25 cents each that is an inexpensive way to get
attention, and since it is information that directly affects your
auction, is ebaY legal. The impact of thousands of checkout logo
protests will catch the attention of the 6 million users who normally
don't read the chat boards, but do browse the listings.

Is Checkout interfering with your online business? This is a service
you pay for, so file a complaint against ebaY with the Better Business
Bureau, and or The Consumer Trouble Shooter.
BBB Online - http://www.bbbsilicon.org

Articles on checkout -
The Street - http://www.thestreet.com/stocks/timarango/10003236.html
CNET - http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7744121.html
CNET - http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7763531.html?tag=cd_mh
Bloomburg -

The Street - http://www.thestreet.com/stocks/timarango/10003405.html
MSNBC - http://www.msnbc.com/news/653177.asp?cp1=1
CBS Marketwatch
9:00am 11/08/01     Changes at Yahoo Auctions could challenge EBay.

ebaY continues to change and increase categories. Have suggestions go
ebaY has made changes and additions in collectibles, consumer
electronics, and sporting goods. To change a category go to

ebaY has bought out and disappeared longtime TAG favorite 321Gone.Com
fulfilling the name and making it....gone.

Netscape 4.78 is a version of Netscape that is said to work well with
ebaY and to provide a successful platform on which to relist and revise
auctions on ebaY.

ebaY news board - http://pages.ebay.com/community/news/index.html

ebaY categories with the category number
An off ebaY category number locator page

ebaY contact information including analog mail and email addresses and
phone numbers, regular and toll free, refund info and insider trading
info etc can be found at

Want to PERMANENTLY close an account on ebaY? go to
To close a Billpoint account go to -
Fill out the form, saying that you want to cancel your account.
Billpoint will send an email asking for your ebaY ID, your Billpoint ID,
and your Billpoint security key. They will also ask why you are
canceling your account. After you reply to the email, it will take 7 to
10 days for the account to be canceled.

ebaY announcement board http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace

Amazon had some image upload problems on 10 Nov. At 11:34 PT they
announced the problem was fixed and images could once again be uploaded
and displayed in new or edited Auctions and zShop listings. It is not
yet determined if previously loaded images can be restored. Sellers may
reload images or wait for further updates.
Announcement Board

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day
Toll-free in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
Auction Pro phone number 1-877-251-0696
* * * * *
Yahoo A federal judge said Wednesday that Yahoo! is protected by the
First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from French groups trying to
force the company to ban Nazi memorabilia on its auction sites.
Articles - http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7794808.html?tag=owv

As of 6 Nov Yahoo Auctions had 227,126 listings on the site.
* * * * *
Bargain and Haggle is raising fees effective 6 Dec 2001 regardless of
the listing date.
Final Sales Price        Transaction Fee
$0.00 - $24.99           $1.25
$25.00 - $99.99          5% of Final Sales Price
$100.00 - $1499.99   $5 plus 2.5% of Final Sales Price over $100
$1500 and over          $40 plus 1.25% of Final Sales Price over $1500
No listing fees.
* * * * *
My Gallery - Auction Gallery site, though available free of charge,
users are asked to make contributions based on usage raging from $5.49
for up to 100 images to $14.95 for over 900 images.
* * * * *
RubyLane's ebaY counter users need to make sure they have an ebaY legal
counter. ebaY required Ruby Lane to change their HTML to take out
Antiques & Collectibles and to link to count.rubylane.com instead of
www.rubylane.com, which they did in July. If you go to
http://count.rubylane.com, Add Counter, you'll see the new HTML. This
HTML was reviewed by ebaY and said to be within their guidelines. It is
okay to have a clickable link to count.rubylane.com in your counter HTML
- this is the 3rd party credit.
If eBay cancels auctions with current HTML send a notice to
* * * * *
Along with all the other Microsoft security gaps there are problems with
cookie data in all versions of Internet Explorer (IE).   Cookie data in
IE can be exposed or altered
through script injection The way to avoid the problem until MS releases
a patch is to turn off active scripting.
Date: 08 November 2001
Software: Internet Explorer
Impact: Exposure and altering of data in cookies
Max Risk: High
Bulletin: MS01-055
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
Election results posted on 8 Nov 01 at
PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
copy/pasted into your browsers URL/Address box in pieces, with no extra
spaces, to get them to work due to HTML limitations
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
Have any information for us? email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
TAG Subscribers have often contributed to information reported on in
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.
TAGassist Contributors –



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